Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Vilayat Khan & Bismillah Khan - Duets - LP released in Great Britain in 1967

This was one of the most popular LPs of classical Indian music in the 1960s and 1970. It is very surprising that it never was released on CD. Perhaps the master tape got lost. 
This was one of my first LPs of Raga music. The first one was the legendary "Pakistani Soul Session" with the great Sarangi master Ustad Nathu Khan (see here), the second the very beautiful LP "North Indian Master of the Sarod" by Ali Akbar Khan (see here). One or two years later (1969 or 1970) I bought in Holland two LPs: my very first Ravi Shankar (see here) and the one posted here.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Vilayat Khan - The Supreme Genius of Ustad Vilayat Khan - LP released in India in 1968

Here one of the most legendary LPs of Vilayat Khan. It was later also released on CD, but unfortunately it seems that they lost the master tape and took a defective recording as the source for the CD. I checked copies from several generations of the CD. They all had the same defect.
So the best is to have the original LP. I bought this one in Southall near London in the mid 1970s.

Friday, 10 March 2017

Vilayat Khan - Ameer Khusrau - A Tribute by Ustad Vilayat Khan - LP published in India in 1975

Here we present a wonderful LP by the great Ustad Vilayat Khan. It is interesting to compare his Raga Saazgiri, a creation by Ameer Khusrau, with the one performed the same year by another outstanding Sitar player, Ustad Mohammad Sharif Khan Poonchwale of Pakistan, also performed as a tribute to Hazrat Amir Khusrau. See here.
We will post in the next couple of weeks about four more LPs by Ustad Vilayat Khan.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Folk Music of Central Asia - West Turkistan - LP published in Japan in 1968

Here we present another LP from Japan which was never on the market in Europe or the US, but this time for license restriction reasons, as the recordings were licensed for sale in Japan only from the Soviet state owned label Melodiya.
On side 1 we have three recordings from Turkmenistan and three from Uzbekistan, on side 2 there are three tracks from Tajikistan and three from Kyrgyzstan, at that time all republics of the Soviet Union.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Jurakhan Sultanov (1893-1964) - Old Masters of Arts of Uzbekistan, Vol. 18 - LP published in Soviet Uzbekistan in 1986 (1950s)

Jurakhan Sultanov (Jura-Khon Sultanov, Джурахон Султанов) was considered the greatest voice in classical Maqom music in Uzbekistan in mid twentieth century. He had an extremely powerful and beautiful voice. In 2011 we posted a double LP which had one track by him. See here. He belonged to the Maqom tradition of the Ferghana Valley. Unfortunately there are not many recordings by him. Partly this is due to a Russian who was the director of the radio at that time. He always thought that the singer had a sore throat and asked him to come back when he felt better. 
Here we present an LP re-released in 1986. It was originally published in the 1950s. At least one track (no. 4) was recorded already in 1938.
For a long time he sang together with his best student Mamurjan Uzakov (1904-1964). See the two cassettes we posted in 2011 here. Around 1955, Mamurjan Uzakov started a career on his own. 
On this LP one hears in most tracks two singers in perfect "vocal unison" (jura avazi), also called "in a single breath" (ham nafas).
Information partly taken from the booklet of the wonderful CD "Ouzbekistan - Les Grandes voix du passé (1940-1965)", unfortunately no longer available for many years (Ocora, C 560142, 1999). This CD has three tracks by the singer. The booklet was written by Jean During.

Here the track information of our LP in transcription and translation:
1. Okh, kim (folk music - Z. Furkat); 2. V sadu (folk music - Z. Khabibi); 3. Besh parda suvora (classical melody - Agakhi, A. Navoi); 4. Sodirkhoi ushshogi (folk music - Dzhami); 5. Savti suvora (classical melody - Agakhi); 6. Gde moya lyubimaya (folk music - Lutfi); 7. Khanuz (folk music - A. Navoi); 8. Bulmish (A. Khatamov - A. Navoi). 
The names in the brackets are the poets of the songs. The first name in the last track is probably the composer of the song, the famous singer Orifxon Xatamov. See our posts of this great singer here.
The accompanying singers are:
Mamatbuva Sattarov, Zakirdzhan Ergashev (7), Mamurdzhan Uzakov (4), Arifkhan Khatamov (Orifxon Xatamov) (8).
Accompanied by an ensemble of folk instruments.
Recorded in the 1950s.
Seriya «Stareyshiye mastera iskusstv Uzbekistana» (Old Masters of Arts of Uzbekistan), vypusk 18 (volume 18).

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Xozhixon Boltayev - Old Masters Of Arts of Uzbekistan, Vol. 25 - LP published in Soviet Uzbekistan in 1988 (1967)

Here we present a LP by Xozhixon Boltayev (Xojixon Boltaev, Хожихон Болтаев), a great singer from Khiva, the old city in Khorezm in western Uzbekistan. The recordings were first published in 1967.
Xozhixon Boltayev was in the middle of the 20th century a great master of the Khorezm Maqoms called Alti-Yarim Maqom (six and a half Maqoms). This Maqom tradition is extremely poorly documented. My friend Danny brought from his trip to Uzbekistan a couple of years ago a book in English on this Maqom tradition, in which our singer is mentioned extensively. I read this very interesting book. In the internet one can find information on this tradition here. But after all the reading I did I still don't know for sure if the music on this LP corresponds more or less to this Maqom tradtion or at least to certain aspects of it or not. I guess it does. 
I see that in the Russian liner notes the words Khorezm Makom are mentioned. Perhaps someone is able to translate the Russian liner notes.
Here the only recordings I could find in the interenet named as being examples of Khoresm Maqoms: There are in total six examples.
Another singer from Khiva, slightly younger than Xozhixon Boltayev, is Komiljon Otaniyozov (1917-1975). He also has a relation to this Maqom tradition. We posted in 2012 two LPs by him. See here.

Additions and corrections added on 5th of March 2017:
Here the track information of this LP in transcription and translation:
Yakparda suvora (folk music - A. Navoy); Savty yakparda suvora (folk music - Bayaky); Kushparda suvora va savty kushparda suvora (folk music - Ahakhy); Ka-zhanh suvora (folk music - Devony); Chapandozy suvora va savty chapandozy suvora (folk music - Makhramy, Mashrab).
The names in the brackets are the poets of the songs. 
The artist accompanies himself on Tar and is accompanied by Akhmad Ysmaylov on Doyra (frame drum). Recorded in 1967. «Stareyshye mastera yskusstv Uzbekystana» (Old Masters of Arts of Uzbekistan), vypusk 25 (volume 25).
As we see from the track information all songs belong to the genre "Suvora" which are spiritual (Sufi) songs, apparently performed in a style close to Maqom music. In the booklet to the CD "Uzbekistan - Music of Khorezm", published in the Unesco Series from Auvidis and now available from Smithsonian as a download in mp3 & flac formats including the booklet (UNES08269) (see here), the two musical forms of Suvora and Maqom (classical music) are explained. There are also 3 pieces of Maqom music and one Suvoro on the CD. The booklet can be downloaded for free.  

The man in the middle - I guess - is Xozhixon Boltayev, the man on the right Komiljon Otaniyozov.